Where’s the Beef?
Red meat often has a bad reputation in the world of nutrition and health. Some people have eliminated red meat from their diet. Like most foods, lean cuts of beef are a healthy addition to your diet and, in moderation, a good source of protein.
An appropriate portion size is a 3-ounce piece of lean meat, which is about the size of a deck of cards. A lean cut of beef is an excellent source of protein, zinc, vitamin B-12, selenium and phosphorus. Even with these benefits, it is important to select lean cuts that are redder in color, without a lot of marbling. The leanest cuts will have “loin” or “round” in the name.
A 3-ounce serving of lean beef provides at least 20 percent of the Daily Value for these nutrients per serving. A 3-ounce serving of beef also is a good source of niacin, vitamin B-6, iron and riboflavin—which means it supplies 10 percent to 19 percent of the Daily Value for these nutrients per serving.
All of these nutrients play a vital role in the body. Protein helps build bones, muscles, cartilage and skin. It’s also a component of blood, enzymes, hormones and vitamins, and it gives the body energy. Zinc boosts the immune system and promotes wound healing. Phosphorus is required for the formation of healthy teeth and bones. Iron carries oxygen in the blood to the cells and muscles, helping to inhibit fatigue, as well prevent iron-deficiency anemia. Vitamin B-12, niacin, vitamin B-6 and riboflavin all aid the body in the release of energy, help the nervous system function properly and assist with the synthesis of red blood cells and tissues.
When using ground beef in a recipe, it should be at least 90 percent lean. Make beef cuts even healthier by removing any excess fat, and prepare it using cooking methods like baking, grilling or broiling. Be sure to include a variety of protein foods in your diet in addition to beef, like fish, poultry and nuts. As with all foods, remember to eat beef in moderation.
(Additional information from Christeena Haynes, MS, RD, LD, nutrition and health education specialist, Dallas County, University of Missouri Extension.)
STEAK WITH MEDITERRANEAN LEMON AND CAPER SAUCE
4 (4-ounce) lean ribeye steaks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 large red onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes (cherry or grape tomatoes work well)
1 cup low-salt, fat-free chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar substitute or honey
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning or dried oregano
2 tablespoons capers
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley or chopped green onions, white part and tops (optional)
1. Preheat oven to broil.
2. Brush steaks on both sides with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season steaks on both sides with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper and the cayenne pepper. Allow steaks to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
3. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil or place steaks on the rack of a broiling pan. Broil steaks about 7 to 10 minutes on each side, or until desired degree of doneness.
4. Using a large pan over medium-high heat, sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil for 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and pepper, the tomatoes, broth, vinegar, sugar substitute or the honey, nutmeg and Italian seasoning or oregano. Bring mixture to a boil. Add in the capers and the lemon zest and juice. Simmer until heated through.
5. To serve, arrange steaks on a serving platter; top with sauteéd mixture and garnish with fresh parsley, if desired. Serves 4.
Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” Her website is www.divapro.com. To see how-to videos, recipes and much, much more, Like Angela Shelf Medearis, The Kitchen Diva!, on Facebook and go to Hulu.com. Recipes may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis.
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